empty office corridor and kitchen

How to relocate your business’s office post COVID-19

The coronavirus pandemic has led to a seismic shift in the way we work. Lockdown saw the rise of remote working and has led to the emergence of a work culture which focuses more on work-life balance and staff wellness. This has, in turn, has seen a rise in productivity for many businesses.

So, with this in mind, many companies are now looking to relocate their office space for a number of reasons. A reduced in-office work force brought about by remote working has meant that many businesses are now looking to downsize their office space, as there’s no longer a need to spend on a large space for an increasingly small number of employees. There’s also safety to consider, with numerous businesses finding that their workplace is no longer fit for purpose when it comes to social distancing, ventilation and a range of other issues highlighted by the pandemic.

If you’re one of those business owners now looking to relocate your office post COVID-19, we’ve got some top tips to make what’s typically a stressful situation, stress-free.

Contents

You can use the following links to jump to a relevant section, or continue to read on below.

  1. Cost of relocation
  2. Do you need a professional moving company?
  3. Office insurance
  4. What to do with unwanted equipment and furniture
  5. Who to inform you’re moving offices

1. How much is relocation going to cost?

There’s no avoiding it, office relocation can be a costly process. Delays and oversights can see costs skyrocket. However, this can be avoided through precise planning and strict budgeting.

The first thing to consider is what you’re looking for. What is your business and exactly what does your operation require in terms of office space? Do you need to be based in the city centre, or could a cheaper, suburban office work just as well? Do you need a large, open space, or could a reduced number of in-office staff mean that a smaller premises could be sufficient? By asking yourself these questions, you’ll be able to hone in on which premises could be suitable and, in doing so, you’ll be able to determine a realistic budget to stick to.

Once this has been decided, you’ll need to think about the costs involved in moving. Firstly, what outgoings may be involved when you vacate the office that you’re in now? Will repairs or refurbishment need to be done and, if so, how much will it cost? If you’ve been renting your current office, you may find that your landlord will require you to pay for a deep clean of the premises before your deposit can be returned, meaning that you’ll have to budget for a professional cleaning service to come in.

You’ll also want to think about the timeframe for your move. If you’re set on moving as soon as possible, you may incur more costs as paperwork needs to be prioritised, and movers need to be brought in on short notice. With that in mind, you’ll need to consider whether a move is necessary right now, or if it can be put on the back burner until full planning has been completed and the funding is available.

2. Do you need to hire a professional moving company?

Does your office contain any large or specialist equipment? Printers, photocopiers and network servers can be cumbersome to transport due to their size or fragility, so you may want to consider whether you need to hire a professional moving company to ensure it’s done safely.

Putting these things aside, even typical office equipment and furniture, like computers, desks and chairs, can be a pain to move. Hiring a professional moving company takes this problem off your hands and gives you the peace of mind that everything will be moved efficiently and safely from one office to another, with minimal damage to equipment and no chance of injury to your own employees.

As with everything involved in the moving process, however, you’ll need to make sure that a moving company fits within your budget. Depending on exactly how much and what equipment needs to be moved, the cost could vary greatly, so you’ll want to thoroughly explore your options to make sure you get the best deal.

3. Update your office insurance

Moving to a new office is a great opportunity for a fresh start and as such, is a perfect time to review your office insurance policy and make sure it’s fit for purpose.

Obviously, you’ll need to update your policy to reflect the change in your business’ premises, but you’ll also need to make sure that your policy covers any and all risks that you or your business may face. For instance, if you have employees working in your office, you’ll want employers liability cover in place. This is a legal requirement for any business employing staff and protects you from claims of injury or illness made by your employees. 

Other covers worth considering include office building insurance, which protects your physical premises in the event of fire, flood or other natural disaster, as well as business contents insurance, which covers the cost of replacing or repairing your equipment and furnishings. All of these covers will typically be included in a specialist office insurance policy, so it’s worth making sure these are contained in any policy you’re looking at purchasing.

4. What will you do with old, unwanted equipment and furniture?

Moving to a new office often also means an upgrade to the office equipment and furniture. A lot of the time, it can even be more cost effective to buy new equipment and furniture and have it delivered directly to the new premises, rather than packing up and moving things over.

This isn’t always the case though, as it’s now possible for a lot of office furniture to be remanufactured to the point where it’s as good as new, massively cutting down on waste and saving you a significant amount in the process. If buying new equipment isn’t totally necessary, It’s worth looking into local remanufacturing services to see if this could be a viable option for your business.

If this isn’t the route you want to take, it’s still worth checking whether your old equipment is still in working order. If so, there may be other businesses which could make use of it and would be willing to take it off your hands. With many businesses now looking to tighten their belt financially, there’s a growing market for used office furniture and equipment, with a number of services available to take your used goods off your hands and sell it on your behalf. If you’re not looking for monetary gain, you’ll almost certainly be able to find other businesses who’ll be willing to take your used goods off your hands for free.

If none of these options are viable, you’ll need to look into disposal. Unfortunately, for businesses this often isn’t as simple as driving your used goods to the local waste disposal centre. On top of this, you may find that the equipment or furniture you want to dispose of is large and hard to transport. In this case, you’ll need to look into an office waste clearance company to take care of things. These companies will remove, transport and dispose of the equipment for you making this a simple, but potentially pricey option.

5. Who needs to know you’re moving offices

Communication is everything and is absolutely essential for a successful office relocation. To make sure that your business continues to run smoothly following the move, there are a number of parties that’ll need to be informed of your move in advance. You’ll need to make sure that you’ve informed your bank, tax office, insurance provider and Companies House of your new address. This will make sure that there’s no confusion or interruption when it comes to your business licencing or finances.

Make sure that you inform your utility and service providers of your move in advance. Some of them may require you to serve a notice period, so formally informing them in advance of your move is crucial. You’ll want to be sure that they know when you’re going to be moving to the new office so that everything is up from the start.

Finally, and perhaps most importantly, you’ll need to make sure that you inform your clients, customers and suppliers to ensure that there’s no lost communication or loss of income following the move. When it comes to informing clients and customers, you may want to run an email or social media campaign to promote your new address or, if you have a smaller client base, you may want to reach out to your customers directly. Also, it’s worth updating your address on your website, email signatures and Google listing to ensure your digital presence aligns with where your new physical premises is located.

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